Day 04 - Chios - Exploring the South of the Island
Chios Travel Blog› entry 4 of 42 › view all entries
Another day, another sleep in. We had good intentions about getting out of bed early and going for a run â€“ but it wasnâ€™t to be. When we did get out of bed we decided to jump straight on the scooter and head south, in search of the mastic villages and a black rock beach many people had told us all about.
The ride was quite a long one and through landscapes which were a lot greener than the areas weâ€™d ridden through the day before. Being Easter Sunday, we passed loads of locals spit roasting lamb outside their homes along the way. Weâ€™d avoided eating red meat for the last couple of days ourselves, so it had out stomachâ€™s growling with hunger.
The first stop was Pyrgi, a Mastic village famous for the way it has decorated its facades and the labyrinth-like layout. Whilst most people we saw seemed happy to roast their lambs on spits outside their own houses, the people in this city had simply cooked great big bon fires straight out the front of the churches. Since we arrived in the middle of the afternoon, we had missed the actual cook up â€“ but you couldnâ€™t miss the smoking ruins theyâ€™d left behind. We were starving, so we didnâ€™t stay long. We jumped back on the scooter and headed to the coast to a port town called Emporio.
Emporio is quite small but it had a one Taverna which was open for lunch.
Before we left the taverna we quizzed the owner as to where we might find the nearest open petrol station. He and his good wife called around a few nearby places for us, with no luck. All he could suggest is that we head back to Pyrgi. Although he knew that station was closed, weâ€™d be able to check the roster on the window there.
Sundown was still an hour or two away and weâ€™d not yet found the black stone beach weâ€™d been looking for, so we headed back the way weâ€™d come in search of fuel â€“ back towards Emporio beach, this time taking a right rather than a left, finding our way to a spectacular beach. It didnâ€™t have black volcanic stones but was still very impressive. We were beginning to think that weâ€™d never find the beach we were after but went back to our Lonely Planet one more time â€“ and closely read the description as to how to get there. Sure enough, when we bothered to read it properly, the guide was quite clear in its directions. The beach was simply at the end of the road passing Emporio beach, less than 100m past where weâ€™d stopped for lunch. We made it to the beach as the sun was going down â€“ barely enough light left to get some decent happy snaps of the place â€“ but definitely to late to chance a swim in the cold waters. Had we found it at lunchtime we might have given it a go. Whilst the waters are still cold at this time of year, the black volcanic stones apparently retain loads of heat - making it a very pleasant a quick way to dry out and warm up after a dip. Michelle volunteered to jump on the back seat of the scooter for the ride home and in the fading light I flogged the bike as hard as I could to get us home ASAP. It was pitch black by the time we got home â€“ but we got back in one piece and returned the scooter without a scratch. Mish relaxed in our room for the rest of the night and I simply went for a wander into town, to check my email and think about getting some dinner. Couldnâ€™t be bothered though (lunch was both late and huge so I just packed it in early).